Matt Hatfield

Matt Hatfield

Music Review Columnist

Off The Beaten Path – Episode 1

In my first installment of "Off the Beaten Path" I will discuss the artist Strugill Simpson. Grab your cigars and a glass this is going to be a good one.
 
Off The Beaten Path – Episode 1
 
I first heard Sturgill Simpson about 3 years ago, thanks to a recommendation in a Facebook group. Right from the opening line of “You Can Have The Crown”, I was hooked. His debut album High Top Mountain is straightup, old-school country. If you like Waylon Jennings (and let’s face it if you don’t, you’re probably a communist), you’ll love it.
 
Each of his subsequent albums has been unique, never allowing anyone to pin him down to one singular sound. ‘Metamodern Sounds In Country Music’ is trippy and physcadelic, ‘A Sailor’s Guide To Earth’ is full of big arrangements and horn sections, ‘Sound & Fury’ is a straight up rock record, and ‘Cuttin Grass Volume One’ is a bluegrass masterpiece. 
 
Cuttin Grass is comprised of bluegrass renditions of songs from each of his albums (except Sound & Fury) as well as tunes from his early days with band ‘Sunday Valley’. The 20 songs on that album cover such a wide variety of emotions. “I Don’t Mind” and “Water In A Well” are tear jerkers, “Long White Line” and “Livin The Dream” are toe tappers, and “Railroad Of Sin” is a bluegrass barn burner. 
 
The bottom line: if you dig through Sturgill Simpson’s catalog and don’t find something that you relate to your life, you better check your pulse and make sure you’re alive in the first place.
 
 
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